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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading through these forums and two (conflicting) themes seem to come up.


First, people ask for ideas about their proposed speaker / receiver setup, and they generally get blasted about spending too much money on the receiver and not enough on the speakers.


Then, when I look at the speaker section (specifically at the proper receiver / amps for different speakres), the suggestions that people have for receiver + amp is generally way higher than the price for the speakers.


For example, I'm currently looking at buying the B&W 683 speakers (I like the sound - I'm not really looking for people's opinion of B&W, there's plenty of threads of that already). The speakers retail for $1500 / pair. However, when I look at what should be powering these speakers, its generally some nice receiver with pre-outs that is hooked up to a $1k+ amp.


The receiver I'm currently looking at buying is the Denon 1909 that will be coming out soon. This receiver does not have pre-outs for anything other than the sub. Would this receiver be considered good w/ the B&W 683 speakers? Sure, I might not get the best possible sound, but will it do a good job? Or should I just consider different speakers (or a different receiver), because this is just not a good match?


The room I'm putting this in is probably about 400sq feet. I don't really want the house to shake when I turn up the volume... but I do want good quality sound. Also, this is probably for 95% HT, and perhaps 5% music.


Edit: I should probably mention that the reason I want this particular receiver is because it is the lowest price receiver that has dynamic volume and can accept audio from HDMI signals. Also, I want more than 2 HDMI inputs.
 

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There are two conflicting views -


View 1) It's all about power. If you have sufficient power, you will get the best possible results; you don't need more power than your speaker's continuous power rating.


View 2) Receivers and amplifiers add 'color', and you should match bright amps to warm speakers or similar thinking


My view tends more to view 1. Brightness can be from accoustics, so don't be too quick to blame the receiver.


I have been happy using a powered sub even for music. I like my rock and electronica, and quality (not just quantity) is important to that type of music, in my opinion. I mention this, because no matter what your receiver, if your speakers don't have good bass response, the powered sub can really help.


Price is not important. Why? Because there's no direct correlation between price and performance. There is some correlation, but it's not as strong as people might try to have you believe.


Definitely buy with a reasonable exchange/return policy in case the receiver you buy is not working out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool, thanks for the info. I've gone through the AVR FAQ and it appears that the power of the AVR isn't really all that significant, at least not as much as the speaker sensitivity. I suppose what that means is that the 1909 (which is rated at 90 watts / channel) should be able to provide sufficient power to the speakers (which are rated at 90db spl sensitivity) and probably still get louder than I'm willing to listen. At least that's how I understand the subject.


On a side note... when something is rated at 90 watts per channel, does that mean that each channel in a 7.1 setup can be guaranteed 90 watts maximum, or does that mean that if a single speaker is hooked up, it can receive 90 watts... I guess I just don't understand the terminology that manufacturers use, and the AVR FAQ was somewhat ambiguous on the subject.


The only portion of your reply that I'm not really understanding is the "speaker's continuous power rating". I haven't been able to find any info about this on the B&W site . The website does mention that the recommended amplifier power is 25-200 watts, and I believe the Denon should be able to provide that to each speaker.


Again, thanks for the info!
 

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The continous power rating on a speaker is the max power you can safely run through the voice coils over an indefinite period of time.


Exceed that rating, and you may overheat the voice coils and damage them. Speakers are horribly inefficient machines that turn most of the power running through them into heat.


Another limit on speakers is mechanical. If you push too much power through the receiver, you can hit the excursion limits of the speaker cone. That's best avoided too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fstanek /forum/post/14241448


Cool, thanks for the info. I've gone through the AVR FAQ and it appears that the power of the AVR isn't really all that significant, at least not as much as the speaker sensitivity. I suppose what that means is that the 1909 (which is rated at 90 watts / channel) should be able to provide sufficient power to the speakers (which are rated at 90db spl sensitivity) and probably still get louder than I'm willing to listen. At least that's how I understand the subject.


On a side note... when something is rated at 90 watts per channel, does that mean that each channel in a 7.1 setup can be guaranteed 90 watts maximum, or does that mean that if a single speaker is hooked up, it can receive 90 watts... I guess I just don't understand the terminology that manufacturers use, and the AVR FAQ was somewhat ambiguous on the subject.


The only portion of your reply that I'm not really understanding is the "speaker's continuous power rating". I haven't been able to find any info about this on the B&W site . The website does mention that the recommended amplifier power is 25-200 watts, and I believe the Denon should be able to provide that to each speaker.


Again, thanks for the info!

Yes if you're looking at 8ohm speakers with a 90db sensitivity rating then you should have no problems with volume levels unless you just want to crenge and cause yourself pain with a headache until your ears start to bleed.


Power specs will depend on how the manufacturer measures and lists the specs. For instance Onkyo list the power specs for the 606 as 90W (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz with 2 channels driven as most other manufacturers do and some even with only 1 channel driven. Harman Kardon on the other hand list the specs with all channels driven the 254 specs show 50 Watts per channel 20Hz - 20kHz into 8 ohms.


The 606s specs would be less if listed with all channels driven instead of 2 so specifically comparing power ratings between companies and sometimes even between receivers within the same company can be rather confusing, not very helpful and even pointless at times.


The speaker efficiency and ohm rating should be compared well before receiver ratings, for instance for the receiver to gain 3db in db level you would have to double the wattage.


Any of the receivers your looking at in your price range should have no problems as far as power as long as you're looking at fairly efficient(sensitivity rating) 8ohm speakers. I would advise looking more at features and price comparisons rather than power.
 

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A question for the OP - what is "dynamic volume?"


IMO you should seriously consider the new H/K AVR254 that will meet your requirements plus will have preouts on all channels in the event you later decide to add a separate power amp. It is also less expensive. In general I don't recommend buying a receiver without full preouts. Don't worry about the AVR254 amp specs - H/K amps are conservatively rated and will perform as well or better than competing comparable models.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 /forum/post/14251234


A question for the OP - what is "dynamic volume?"

I'm not the OP, but I can answer this one. The new Denon xx09 receivers are the first to implement Audyssey's "Dynamic Volume" function.


More information here:
Dynamic Volume


Click on the "Audyssey-Enabled Products" link on the bottom of the page for a list of receivers containing each of Audysseys features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dsmith901,


the HK 254 was actually my second choice. The thing that really pushed me towards the Denon was dynamic volume, although the very nice thing about the HKs is that they can overlay volume controls over an HDMI signal ( I don't think the Denon can do that ).


I'm guessing reviews of the 1909 should start coming in within a week, so if dynamic volume doesn't work all that great, I think I'll lean towards the HK.


I just wish the HK was a solid color, as the black/silver combo is pretty ugly....
 
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